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Old 11-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #41
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Real-Life Superheroes: 8 Freak Abilities

1. The Incredible Brain (Daniel Tammet)

Daniel Paul Tammet is a British high-functioning autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical calculations, sequence memory, and natural language learning. He was born with congenital childhood epilepsy. Experiencing numbers as colors or sensations is a well-documented form of synesthesia, but the detail and specificity of Tammet's mental imagery of numbers is unique. In his mind, he says, each number up to 10,000 has its own unique shape and feel, that he can "see" results of calculations as landscapes, and that he can "sense" whether a number is prime or composite. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi as beautiful. Tammet not only verbally describes these visions, but also creates artwork, particularly watercolor paintings, such as his painting of Pi.

Tammet holds the European record for memorising and recounting pi to 22,514 digits in just over five hours. He also speaks a variety of languages including English, French, Finnish, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Estonian, Icelandic, Welsh and Esperanto. He particularly likes Estonian, because it is rich in vowels. Tammet is creating a new language called Mänti. Tammet is capable of learning new languages very quickly. To prove this for the Channel Five documentary, Tammet was challenged to learn Icelandic in one week. Seven days later he appeared on Icelandic television conversing in Icelandic, with his Icelandic language instructor saying it was "not human."

2. The Boy with Sonar Vision (Ben Underwood)


Ben Underwoodtaught is blind, both of his eyes were removed (cancer) when he was 3. Yet, he plays basketball, rides on a bicycle, and lives a quite normal life. He taught himself to use echo location to navigate around the world. With no guide-dogs, he doesn't even need hands: he uses sound. Ben makes a short click sound that bounces back from objects. Amazingly, his ears pick up the ecos to let him know where the objects are. He's the only person in the world who sees using nothing but eco location, like a sonar or a dolphin.

3. The Rubberboy (Daniel Browning Smith)

Five time Guiness Record holder, The Rubberboy is the most flexible man alive and the most famous contortionist. He has been in many professional basketball or baseball games and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ESPN's Sports Center, Oprah Winfrey, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Cirque du Soleil, Best Damn Sports Show Period, The Discovery Channel, Men in Black 2, HBO's Carnivale, and CSI: NY and American got a talent. He dislocates his arms to crawl through an unstrung tennis racquet. He performs contortion handstands and unique acrobatics.

4. King Tooth (Rathakrishnan Velu)

On August 30, 2007, the eve of Malaysia's 50th Independence Day, Rathakrishnan Velu (or Raja Gigi, as he is known locally) broke his own world record for pulling train with his teeth, this time with 6 coaches attached weighing 297.1 tons over a distance of 2.8 metres at the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Raja Gigi, from Tampin in Malaysia learned a technique of concentrating his powers to any part of his body from an Indian guru at a young age of 14.

5. The Magnetic Man (Liew Thow Lin)

Liew Thow Lin, a 70-year-old retired contractor in Malaysia, recently made news for pulling a car twenty meters along a level surface by means of an iron chain hooked to an iron plate on his midriff. He says that he discovered he had the amazing ability to make objects stick "magnetically" to his skin, and now he's added car-pulling to his repertoire. After reading an article about a family in Taiwan who possessed such power, he says he took several iron objects and put them on his abdomen, and to his surprise, all the objects including an iron, stuck on his skin and didn't fall down. Since this "gift'' is also present in three of his sons and two grandchildren, he figures it's hereditary.

6. The Torture King (Tim Cridland)

Tim Cridland doesn't seem to feel pain like the rest of people. He astounded everyone by pushing needles into his arms without flinching and he now performs a terrifying act for audiences all over America. Scientific tests have shown that Tim can tolerate much higher levels of pain than are humanly possible. He explains that, by using mind over matter, he is able to push skewers through his body and put up with extreme heat and cold unharmed - but to do this safely he has extensively studied human anatomy, because puncturing an artery could be fatal.

7. The Lion Whisperer (Kevin Richardson)


Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson says he relies on instinct to win the hearts and form an intimate bond with the big cats. He can spend the night curled up with them without the slightest fear of being attacked. His magic works not only work for lions but other animals such as cheetahs, leopards and even hyenas do not hold a threat against him. Lions are his favourites and its a wonder how he can play, carress, cuddle with them whose teeth are sharp enough to bite through thick steel. Its a dangerous job but to Kevin, its more of a passion for him.

8. The Eye-Popping Man (Claudio Pinto)

Claudio Pinto can pop both of his eyes 4 cm (about 1 and a half inch) or 95% out of their sockets. He's now aiming (poppin'?) for a world record. Mr Pinto has undergone various tests and doctors say they have never seen or heard of a person who can pop the eyes as much as him. Mr Pinto, from Belo Horizonte, said: "It is a pretty easy way to make money. "I can pop my eyes out four centimetres each, it is a gift from God, I feel blessed."

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:50 AM   #42
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Elephantiasis Of The Testicles



Elephantiasis is a disease that is characterized by the thickening of the skin and underlying tissues, especially in the legs and genitals. In some cases, the disease can cause certain body parts, such as the scrotum, to swell to the size of a softball or basketball. "Elephantitis" is a common mis-hearing or mis-remembering of the term, from confusing the ending -iasis (process or resulting condition) with the more commonly heard -itis (irritation or inflammation). Its proper medical name is lymphatic filariasis.
Elephantiasis is often caused by microscopic, thread-like parasitic worms such as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and B. timori, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. The adult worms only live in the human lymph system. Consequently, it is common in tropical regions and Africa. Obstruction of the lymphatic vessels leads to swelling in the lower torso, typically in the legs and genitals. It is not definitively known if this swelling is caused by the parasite itself, or by the immune system's response to the parasite.
Alternatively, elephantiasis may occur in the absence of parasitic infection. This nonparasitic form of elephantiasis is known as nonfilarial elephantiasis or podoconiosis, and areas of high prevalence have been documented in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. The worst affected area is Ethiopia, where up to 6% of the population is affected in endemic areas. Nonfilarial elephantiasis is thought to be caused by persistent contact with irritant soils: in particular, red clays rich in alkali metals such as sodium and potassium and associated with volcanic activity.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:18 PM   #43
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Freak Occurences

A Fishy Tale

Recently a man who lost his phone on a beach had it returned to him after it was found inside the belly of a codfish.

Originally realising he had lost his phone at the beach, he had expected to never see it again, but then a week later his girlfriend's phone rang quite obviously displaying his old mobile number. On the other end was a fisherman who had been surprised upon catching and gutting a 25lb cod, to find a mobile phone inside.


8 - The Luckiest Number?

Well we know that the Chinese in particular consider the number 8 to be a lucky number, so I wonder what their opinions on the little girl born in this story would be??

In Fergus Falls USA, a baby was born to the Hauer family.

The date she was born at was the 08-08-08.

The time she was born at was 8:08 am.

The weight she was born at was 8 pounds, 8 ounces!

Born by caesarean section, the mother thought they were pulling her leg about the time, and that was before they got to the weight!

The only joke that did occur was the one about the nurse considering telling the mother they'd shrunk the baby's length down to 18 inches from the 19.5 that she was really.

Hospital staff decided they were going to go out and buy lottery tickets later that day, and any wonder!


Would You Bet On This Hand?


During 1858, a man named Robert Fallon who was out playing poker was shot dead by other members of the table who believed his current winnings of $600 had been attained by cheating.

Because none of the other players considered the $600 pot to be lucky, Fallon's seat remained empty. However they were able to fill it at the eleventh hour with a new player and the game played on.
The police eventually arrived to investigate the matter, by which point the new player had nurtured the $600 into a grand total of $2,200.

After hearing the story of what had happened that night, the police determined that the original $600 be turned over to them so that it could be passed onto Fallon's nearest living relative.

The irony of this story, it eventuated that the new player who had taken Fallon's place was actually Fallon's son!

Having not seen his father in over 7 years, the son was none the wiser until the matter was investigated!


It Fell From The Sky... Money!

In 1968, shoppers in Kent, UK, were surprised by falling coinage on the footpath. Apparently they came from nowhere with only the sound of them hitting the ground alerting the shoppers to their presence, and the dents in them backed up the story that they had fallen from the sky. There were no tall buildings or planes nearby.

In 1976 over a Piazza in Rome, a light plane dropped a large quantity of 500, 1000, and 10000 lira bank notes. The pilot of the plane was never identified.

In 1982 a young girl saw a 50 pence coin fall from the sky while in a church yard near Manchester UK.
Later on during the same day, other children found coins in the same place. A local sweetie/lolly/candy shop owner who'd been swamped by coin-bearing children, thought that maybe the children had stolen the coins from the church's collection box and contacted the church immediately, but no money was missing.
All the children swore that the money had fallen from the sky.

In 2007 a raucous group of demonstrators managed to make it to the visitors gallery of the New York Stock Exchange and throw $100 in $1 bills over the edge.

Also occurring in 2007 was the incident in Tokyo, Japan where a million yen began floating down from the top of an apartment block above a convenience store.

While only last month in Indonesia, 100 million rupiah, or nearly £6,000,cash was thrown from a plane in a marketing stunt over one of the poorest areas.


It Fell From The Sky... Meat!


All sorts of strange and bizarre items have fallen from the sky in the past, but how would you feel if a lump of fresh meat landed in your lap?

In 1851 soldiers at a base out near San Francisco were practicing drills when they were hit by blood and pieces of meat, from a cloudless sky.

North Carolina was also showered with blood, brains, pieces of meat and liver during the same year.

In 1876 a woman from Kentucky was in her garden when fresh meat began to shower her in snowflake like sizes from the again cloudless sky.
Two nearby men tasted it (why does that not surprise me!) and thought it tasted like either venison or mutton. Scientists later tested it to find it was a random selection of lung tissue and muscle fibres. The explanation given was that a flock of buzzards had most likely regurgitated the matter while flying overhead.


A Ship Of Coincidence

Some coincidences and incidents in life are just so bizarre it beggars belief!
However such strange coincidences do occur, but still you cannot help but shake your head and wonder.

One such example is that of the ship The Mermaid.

In 1829, The Mermaid was 4 days out from Sydney Harbour, Australia when an intense storm struck. Between high winds and heavy rains, the ship was finally dumped onto a reef where it began breaking apart. The crew managed to swim towards a rocky outcrop where they were rescued three days later by the crew of another passing vessel, the Swiftsure

The Swiftsure then encountered an extremely strong current that the crew were unable to counter. The ship was therefore swept on to rocks and also wrecked. The crew of The Mermaid found themselves abandoning ship for a second time.

Eight hours later the schooner Governor Ready already carrying thirty-two people and a full cargo of timber saw their plight and was able to squeeze the survivors from both the Mermaid and Swiftsure on board.

Three hours later, Governor Ready caught fire! The fire spread rapidly thanks to all the added timber on board. The ship was abandoned once more with the aid of longboats.

The Comet, a government ship then appeared unexpectedly, and all were rescued....again!

The crew of the Comet heard the story and considered that the crew of The Mermaid were in fact jinxed, but having passed three shipwrecks without trouble, they decided that good luck was on their side.

But just 5 days later a sudden squall sprang up. With her mast lost, sails in tatters, and rudder gone, the crew of the Comet took to their longboats, abandoning the jinxed crewmen to their own resources.

Clinging to broken up pieces of the ship, the survivors weary and having to fight off sharks were again picked up from their soggy situation by the crew of the Jupiter,

Just 12 hours later, yes, you guessed it, the Jupiter sank!

All were eventually picked up by another ship, The City of Leeds.

Four days later, the City Of Leeds, docked in Sydney Harbour!

But there was one final coincidence to come. On board one of the final vessels, the Jupiter was an elderly lady from Yorkshire, Sarah Richey, who had come to Australia to search for her son Peter who had been missing for over fifteen years. As it turned out, Peter was one of the original crew of the Mermaid.


A Coincidental Life.

Two twin boys were born in Ohio, adopted by different families and completely unknown to each other, were both named James.

Both were trained in law enforcement, both were skilled at mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda.

They both had sons - one named James Alan and the other named James Allan.

The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women - both named Betty.

Both of them owned a dog, and both dogs had been named Toy.

It would be 40 years after their initial separation before each would learn of the other’s strangely coincidental existence.

Cow Eats Chickens.

WHEN dozens of chickens went missing from a remote West Bengal village, everyone blamed the neighborhood dogs.

But Ajit Ghosh, the owner of the missing chickens, eventually solved the puzzle when he caught his cow - a sacred animal for the Hindu family - gobbling up several of them at night.

"We were shocked to see our calf eating chickens alive," Mr Ghosh said.

The family decided to stand guard at night on Monday at the cow shed which also served as a hen coop, after 48 chickens went missing in a month.
chickens

"Instead of the dogs, we watched in horror as the calf, whom we had fondly named Lal, sneak to the coop and grab the little ones with the precision of a jungle cat," Gour Ghosh, his brother, said.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:36 PM   #44
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The Blue People Of Troublesome Creek



Six generations after a French orphan named Martin Fugate settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky's Troublesome Creek with his redheaded American bride, his great-great-great great grandson was born in a modern hospital not far from where the creek still runs.

The boy inherited his father's lankiness and his mother's slightly nasal way of speaking.

What he got from Martin Fugate was dark blue skin. "It was almost purple," his father recalls.

Doctors were so astonished by the color of Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy's skin that they raced him by ambulance from the maternity ward in the hospital near Hazard to a medical clinic in Lexington. Two days of tests produced no explanation for skin the color of a bruised plum.

A transfusion was being prepared when Benjamin's grandmother spoke up. "Have you ever heard of the blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek?" she asked the doctors.

"My grandmother Luna on my dad's side was a blue Fugate. It was real bad in her," Alva Stacy, the boy's father, explained. "The doctors finally came to the conclusion that Benjamin's color was due to blood inherited from generations back."

Benjamin lost his blue tint within a few weeks, and now he is about as normal looking a seven-year-old boy as you could hope to find. His lips and fingernails still turn a shade of purple-blue when he gets cold or angry a quirk that so intrigued medical students after Benjamin's birth that they would crowd around the baby and try to make him cry. "Benjamin was a pretty big item in the hospital," his mother says with a grin.

Dark blue lips and fingernails are the only traces of Martin Fugate's legacy left in the boy; that, and the recessive gene that has shaded many of the Fugates and their kin blue for the past 162 years.

They're known simply as the "blue people" in the hills and hollows around Troublesome and Ball Creeks. Most lived to their 80s and 90s without serious illness associated with the skin discoloration. For some, though, there was a pain not seen in lab tests. That was the pain of being blue in a world that is mostly shades of white to black.

There was always speculation in the hollows about what made the blue people blue: heart disease, a lung disorder, the possibility proposed by one old-timer that "their blood is just a little closer to their skin." But no one knew for sure, and doctors rarely paid visits to the remote creekside settlements where most of the "blue Fugates " lived until well into the 1950s. By the time a young hematologist from the University of Kentucky came down to Troublesome Creek in the 1960s to cure the blue people, Martin Fugate's descendants had multiplied their recessive genes all over the Cumberland Plateau.

Madison Cawein began hearing rumors about the blue people when he went to work at the University of Kentucky's Lexington medical clinic in 1960. "I'm a hematologist, so something like that perks up my ears," Cawein says, sipping on whiskey sours and letting his mind slip back to the summer he spent "tromping around the hills looking for blue people."

Cawein is no stranger to eccentricities of the body. He helped isolate an antidote for cholera, and he did some of the early work on L-dopa, the drug for Parkinson's disease. But his first love, which he developed as an Army medical technician in World War II, was hematology. "Blood cells always looked so beautiful to me," he says.

Cawein would drive back and forth between Lexington and Hazard an eight-hour ordeal before the tollway was built and scour the hills looking for the blue people he'd heard rumors about. The American Heart Association had a clinic in Hazard, and it was there that Cawein met "a great big nurse" who offered to help.

Her name was Ruth Pendergrass, and she had been trying to stir up medical interest in the blue people ever since a dark blue woman walked into the county health department one bitterly cold afternoon and asked for a blood test.

"She had been out in the cold and she was just blue!" recalls Pendergrass, who is now 69 and retired from nursing. "Her face and her fingernails were almost indigo blue. It like to scared me to death! She looked like she was having a heart attack. I just knew that patient was going to die right there in the health department, but she wasn't a'tall alarmed. She told me that her family was the blue Combses who lived up on Ball Creek. She was a sister to one of the Fugate women." About this same time, another of the blue Combses, named Luke, had taken his sick wife up to the clinic at Lexington. One look at Luke was enough to "get those doctors down here in a hurry," says Pendergrass, who joined Cawein to look for more blue people.

Trudging up and down the hollows, fending off "the two mean dogs that everyone had in their front yard," the doctor and the nurse would spot someone at the top of a hill who looked blue and take off in wild pursuit. By the time they'd get to the top, the person would be gone. Finally, one day when the frustrated doctor was idling inside the Hazard clinic, Patrick and Rachel Ritchie walked in.

"They were bluer'n hell," Cawein says. "Well, as you can imagine, I really examined them. After concluding that there was no evidence of heart disease, I said 'Aha!' I started asking them questions: 'Do you have any relatives who are blue?' then I sat down and we began to chart the family."

Cawein remembers the pain that showed on the Ritchie brother's and sister's faces. "They were really embarrassed about being blue," he said. "Patrick was all hunched down in the hall. Rachel was leaning against the wall. They wouldn't come into the waiting room. You could tell how much it bothered them to be blue."

After ruling out heart and lung diseases, the doctor suspected methemoglobinemia, a rare hereditary blood disorder that results from excess levels of methemoglobin in the blood. Methemoglobin which is blue, is a nonfunctional form of the red hemoglobin that carries oxygen. It is the color of oxygen-depleted blood seen in the blue veins just below the skin.

If the blue people did have methemoglobinemia, the next step was to find out the cause. It can be brought on by several things: abnormal hemoglobin formation, an enzyme deficiency, and taking too much of certain drugs, including vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and is abundant in pork liver and vegetable oil.

Cawein drew "lots of blood" from the Ritchies and hurried back to his lab. He tested first for abnormal hemoglobin, but the results were negative.

Stumped, the doctor turned to the medical literature for a clue. He found references to methemoglobinemia dating to the turn of the century, but it wasn't until he came across E. M. Scott's 1960 report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (vol. 39, 1960) that the answer began to emerge.

Scott was a Public Health Service doctor at the Arctic Health Research Center in Anchorage who had discovered hereditary methemoglobinemia among Alaskan Eskimos and Indians. It was caused, Scott speculated, by an absence of the enzyme diaphorase from their red blood cells. In normal people hemoglobin is converted to methemoglobin at a very slow rate. If this conversion continued, all the body's hemoglobin would eventually be rendered useless. Normally diaphorase converts methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. Scott also concluded that the condition was inherited as a simple recessive trait. In other words, to get the disorder, a person would have to inherit two genes for it, one from each parent. Somebody with only one gene would not have the condition but could pass the gene to a child.

Scott's Alaskans seemed to match Cawein's blue people. If the condition were inherited as a recessive trait, it would appear most often in an inbred line.

Cawein needed fresh blood to do an enzyme assay. He had to drive eight hours back to Hazard to search out the Ritchies, who lived in a tapped-out mining town called Hardburly. They took the doctor to see their uncle, who was blue, too. While in the hills, Cawein drove over to see Zach (Big Man) Fugate, the 76-year-old patriarch of the clan on Troublesome Creek. His car gave out on the dirt road to Zach's house, and the doctor had to borrow a Jeep from a filling station.

Zach took the doctor even farther up Copperhead Hollow to see his Aunt Bessie Fugate, who was blue. Bessie had an iron pot of clothes boiling in her front yard, but she graciously allowed the doctor to draw some of her blood.

"So I brought back the new blood and set up my enzyme assay," Cawein continued. "And by God, they didn't have the enzyme diaphorase. I looked at other enzymes and nothing was wrong with them. So I knew we had the defect defined.''

Just like the Alaskans, their blood had accumulated so much of the blue molecule that it over- whelmed the red of normal hcmoglobin that shows through as pink in the skin of most Caucasians.

Once he had the enzyme deficiency isolated, methyleneblue sprang to Cawein's mind as the "perfectly obvious" antidote. Some of the blue people thought the doctor was slightly addled for suggesting that a blue dye could turn them pink. But Cawein knew from earlier studies that the body has an alternative method of converting methemoglobin back to normal. Activating it requires adding to the blood a substance that acts as an "electron donor." Many substances do this, but Cawein chose methylene blue because it had been used successfully and safely in other cases and because it acts quickly.

Cawein packed his black bag and rounded up Nurse Pendergrass for the big event. They went over to Patrick and Rachel Ritchie's house and injected each of them with 100 milligrams of methylene blue.

''Within a few minutes. the blue color was gone from their skin," the doctor said. "For the first time in their lives, they were pink. They were delighted."

"They changed colors!" remembered Pendergrass. "It was really something exciting to see."

The doctor gave each blue family a supply of methylene blue tablets to take as a daily pill. The drug's effects are temporary, as methylene blue is normally excreted in the urine. One day, one of the older mountain men cornered the doctor. "I can see that old blue running out of my skin," he confided.

Before Cawein ended his study of the blue people, he returned to the mountains to patch together the long and twisted journey of Martin Fugate's recessive gene. From a history of Perry County and some Fugate family Bibles listing ancestors, Cawein has constructed a fairly complete story.

Martin Fugate was a French orphan who emigrated to Kentucky in 1820 to claim a land grant on the wilderness banks of Troublesome Creek. No mention of his skin color is made in the early histories of the area, but family lore has it that Martin himself was blue.

The odds against it were incalculable, but Martin Fugate managed to find and marry a woman who carried the same recessive gene. Elizabeth Smith, apparently, was as pale-skinned as the mountain laurel that blooms every spring around the creek hollows.

Martin and Elizabeth set up housekeeping on the banks of Troublesome and began a family. Of their seven children, four were reported to be blue.

The clan kept multiplying. Fugates married other Fugates. Sometimes they married first cousins. And they married the people who lived closest to them, the Combses, Smiths, Ritchies, and Stacys. All lived in isolation from the world, bunched in log cabins up and down the hollows, and so it was only natural that a boy married the girl next door, even if she had the same last name.

"When they settled this country back then, there was no roads. It was hard to get out, so they intermarried," says Dennis Stacy, a 51-year-old coal miner and amateur genealogist who has filled a loose-leaf notebook with the laboriously traced blood lines of several local families.

Stacy counts Fugate blood in his own veins. "If you'll notice," he observes, tracing lines on his family's chart, which lists his mother's and his father's great grandfather as Henley Fugate, "I'm kin to myself."

The railroad didn't come through eastern Kentucky until the coal mines were developed around 1912, and it took another 30 or 40 years to lay down roads along the local creeks.

Martin and Elizabeth Fugate's blue children multiplied in this natural isolation tank. The marriage of one of their blue boys, Zachariah, to his mother's sister triggered the line of succession that would result in the birth, more than 100 years later, of Benjamin Stacy.

When Benjamin was born with purple skin, his relatives told the perplexed doctors about his great grandmother Luna Fugate. One relative describes her as "blue all over," and another calls Luna "the bluest woman I ever saw."

Luna's father, Levy Fugate, was one of Zachariah Fugate's sons. Levy married a Ritchie girl and bought 200 acres of rolling land along Ball Creek. The couple had eight children, including Luna.

A fellow by the name of John E. Stacy spotted Luna at Sunday services of the Old Regular Baptist Church back before the century turned. Stacy courted her, married her, and moved over from Troublesome Creek to make a living in timber on her daddy's land.

Luna has been dead nearly 20 years now, but her widower survives. John Stacy still lives on Lick Branch of Ball Creek. His two room log cabin sits in the middle of Laurel Fork Hollow. Luna is buried at the top of the hollow. Stacy's son has built a modern house next door, but the old logger won't hear of leaving the cabin he built with timber he personally cut and hewed for Luna and their 13 children.

Stacy recalls that his father-inlaw, Levy Fugate, was "part of the family that showed blue. All them old fellers way back then was blue. One of 'em I remember seeing him when I was just a boy "Blue Anze", they called him. Most of them old people went by that name the blue Fugates. It run in that generation who lived up and down Ball [Creek]."

"They looked like anybody else, 'cept they had the blue color," Stacy says, sitting in a chair in his plaid flannel shirt and suspenders, next to a cardboard box where a small black piglet, kept as a pet, is squealing for his bottle. "I couldn't tell you what caused it."

The only thing Stacy can't or won't remember is that his wife Luna was blue. When asked ahout it, he shakes his head and stares steadfastly ahead. It would be hard to doubt this gracious man except that you can't find another person who knew Luna who doesn't remember her as being blue.

"The bluest Fugates I ever saw was Luna and her kin," says Carrie Lee Kilburn, a nurse who works at the rural medical center called Homeplace Clinic. "Luna was bluish all over. Her lips were as dark as a bruise. She was as blue a woman as I ever saw."

Luna Stacy possessed the good health common to the blue people, bearing at least 13 children before she died at 84. The clinic doctors only saw her a few times in her life and never for anything serious.

As coal mining and the railroads brought progress to Kentucky, the blue Fugates started moving out of their communities and marrying other people. The strain of inherited blue began to disappear as the recessive gene spread to families where it was unlikely to be paired with a similar gene.

Bewnjamin Stacy is one of the last of the blue Fugates. With Fugate blood on both his mother's and his father's side, the boy could have received genes for the enzyme deficiency from either direction. Because the boy was intensely blue at birth but then recovered his normal skin tones, Benjamin is assumed to have inherlted only one gene for the condition. Such people tend to be very blue only at birth, probably because newborns normally have smaller amounts of diaphorase. The enzyme eventually builds to normal levels in most children and to almost normal levels in those like Benjamin, who carry one gene.

Hilda Stacy (nee Godsey) is fiercely protective of her son. She gets upset at all the talk of inbreeding among the Fugates. One of the supermarket tabloids once sent a reporter to find out about the blue people, and she was distressed with his preoccupation with intermarriages.

She and her husband Alva have a strong sense of family. They sing in the Stacy Family Gospel Band and have provided their children with a beautiful home and a menagerie of pets, including horses.

"Everyone around here knows about the blue Fugates," says Hilda Stacy who, at 26, looks more like a sister than a mother to her children. "It's common. It's nothing.''

Cawein and his colleagues published their research on hereditary diaphorase deficiency in the Archives of Internal Medicine (April, 1964) in 1964. He hasn't studied the condition for years. Even so, Cawein still gets calls for advice. One came from a blue Flugate who'd joined the Army and been sent to Panama, where his son was born bright blue. Cawein advised giving the child methylene blue and not worrying about it. Note: In this instance the reason for cyanosis was not methemoglobinemia but Rh incompatibility. This information supplied by John Graves whose uncle was the father of the child.

The doctor was recently approached by the producers of the television show "That's Incredible." They wanted to parade the blue people across the screen in their weekly display of human oddities. Cawein would have no part of it, and he related with glee the news that a film crew sent to Kentucky from Hollywood fled the "two mean dogs in every front yard" without any film. Cawein cheers their bad luck not out of malice but out of a deep respect for the blue people of Troublesome Creek.

"They were poor people," concurs Nurse Pendergrass, "but they were good.''
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #45
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The Melting Man



On 2008, a Chinese man named Huang Chuncai underwent surgery to remove a 20kg or 44 pound tumor on his face. The surgery was successful but due to the large size of the tumor, only a part of it was removed at that time. Just a few days ago, Huang Chuncai went into the operating room again to remove another part of that facial tumor. This time, it was a large 4.5kg (9.9lb) chunk of flesh from his face. The tumor was originally 23kg in total. This still leaves 17.5kg of facial tissue from this tumor on his face (1kg was removed in the first surgery and 4.5kg was removed in the second surgery). Huang Chuncai suffers from Neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes growth on nerve tissues.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:44 PM   #46
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Bullet Headed Man



This man from China finally had a huge tumour removed on 2007, after discovering it 17 years ago. Huang Liqian, 58, first discovered a bizarre growth on the back of his neck in 1990, but chose to ignore it. However, as the years rolled on, it continued to increase in size at a rapid pace, with the growth ballooning to 15kg. Liqian was taken to the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongging University of Medical Services in southwest China's Chongging, where he had the tumour removed.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:47 PM   #47
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Rhino Leg



Victim Chen Zongtao, 29, lives in a remote Chinese village and hasn't been able to afford medical help. The growth first started on his left foot when he was two years old. But it soon spread across to his right leg and engulfed it. Over the years, it has ballooned in size to weigh more than 70KG or 154 pounds. Doctors at the hospital in Changsha, central China's Hunan province, have been probing the tumor. Zongtao is said to be suffering from neurofibroma - a usually-benign tumour originating in nerves. It is not yet clear if medical teams plan to take action on the growth.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #48
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Werewolf Boy



Hypertrichosis is a medical condition that causes excessive growth of hair in areas where hair does not normally grow. It may be present over the entire body, or you could have it in only one or more areas. Some individuals will be born with the condition and others will develop it later on in life. Congenital Hypertrichosis is very rare. In fact, it is so rare that there have been only 50 verified cases since the Middle Ages. On 2008, the press interviewed Pruthviraj Patil, an 11-year-old indian boy who's face and body are covered with hair. He rarely leaves his home village in India because of the cruelty of strangers. Pruthviraj’s family has tried homeopathy, traditional Indian Ayurvedic remedies even laser surgery without success, and he's now appealing to doctors to help him find a permanent cure since even after laser treatment the hair grows back.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #49
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Smurf Man



A condition caused by the ingestion of silver, the Argyria's most dramatic symptom is that the skin becomes blue or bluish-grey colored. On 2008, ABC reporters interviewed Paul Karason, 40 year-old who's skin turned blue after he used colloidal silver to ease his ailments. It started a decade ago, when he saw an ad in a new-age magazine promising health and rejuvenation through colloidal silver. Karason sent away for a kit for making colloidal silver -- a home brew of microscopic silver particles suspended in water. For a while, he was drinking at least 10 ounces a day as a cure for arthritis. "I had arthritis in my shoulders so bad I couldn't pull a T-shirt off. And the next thing I knew, it was just gone." he explained the media, but these claims have no basis in science and after a couple of months, his whole skin turned blue. "I kind of hoped it would fade off!" But it didn't fade off. Argyria is permanent.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:59 PM   #50
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World's Smallest Waist



Honestly, no Photoshop. Cathie Jung’s tiny waist measures just 15in (38cm), making her figure distinctly hourglass. The Queen of Corsets, as she has aptly named herself, has worn tight-fitting corsets for years to get there, and appears in the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Whilst she currently holds the record for the smallest waist on a living person, the record for the smallest waist ever goes to Ethel Granger who had a wasit of just 13".
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #51
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Rhino Handed Man



Chinese man Lui Hua suffers from a rare condition known as macrodactyly. When he was hospitalized in Shanghai on July 2007, his left thumb measured 10.2 inches and his index finger measured close to 12. On July 20 surgeons undertook a seven-hour operation to reduce the size of Liu's fingers and thumb. Doctors removed 11 pounds of flesh and bone in the procedure. A second surgery is scheduled to take place.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:04 PM   #52
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Tongue Girl



German schoolgirl Annika Irmler has licked her way into the Guinness Book of Records with her whopping seven centimetre tongue. The twelve-year-old from Tangstedt, near Hamburg, can lick the ice cream from the bottom of a cornet - while her friends have to use their fingers.

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Old 11-04-2009, 01:07 PM   #53
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Miss Freddy Krueger



Lee Redmond, a woman from Utah who has not cut her nails since 1979, had grown and carefully manicured them to reach a total length of 8.65 m (28 ft 4.5 in), and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest fingernails. Sadly, on February, 2009, she lost them in a car crash.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:09 PM   #54
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Mr. Ear Hair



Indian grocer Radhakant Baijpai certainly has a goal in life: make sure that he has the longest ear hair in the world. Radhakant was crowned the official Guinness world record holder for the longest ear hair back in 2003, when his aural fronds were an already-impressive 13.2cm long. But that didn't stop him pursuing his goal of ever-longer hair on his ears. After several more years of carefully cultivating and caring for the ear-hair, Radhakant's tufts now stretch an astonishing 25cm. He is now waiting for Guinness adjudicators to confirm that he has set a new high, hairy bar for his chosen field.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:12 PM   #55
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Giraffe Woman



Russian woman Svetlana Pankratova has, according to Guinness World Records, the longest legs of any woman in the world. While she is not the world's tallest woman, her legs are 132 centimetres (4 ft 4 in) long. Because her upper body is of much more typical dimensions, she is 196 centimetres (6 ft 5 in) tall. She has also very large feet, size 13 (US) / 46 (EU), making shopping for shoes difficult. From 1992 to 1995, Pankratova played women's basketball in the USA, and on 2008 she appeared in Trafalgar Square in London on September 16, 2008 with He Pingping, the smallest man in the world, to promote the 2009 edition of the Guinness World Records.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:15 PM   #56
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Bearded Woman



With the longest hair in her beard measuring 11 inches - 27.9 cm., Vivian Wheeler of Illinois is blessed with having the longest beard for a female. Her father insisted she start shaving at the age of 7, but since 1993 Vivian Wheeler has not, letting her beard grow.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #57
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10 Child Prodigies

1. Kim Ung-Yong:


Attended University at age 4, Ph.D at age 15; world's highest IQ
This Korean super-genius was born in 1962 and might just be the smartest guy alive today (he's recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest IQ of anyone on the planet). By the age of four he was already able to read in Japanese, Korean, German, and English. At his fifth birthday, he solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems. Later, on Japanese television, he demonstrated his proficiency in Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, German, English, Japanese, and Korean. Kim was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ"; the book estimated the boy's score at over 210.

Kim was a guest student of physics at Hanyang University from the age of 3 until he was 6. At the age of 7 he was invited to America by NASA. He finished his university studies, eventually getting a Ph.D. in physics at Colorado State University before he was 15. In 1974, during his university studies, he began his research work at NASA and continued this work until his return to Korea in 1978 where he decided to switch from physics to civil engineering and eventually received a doctorate in that field. Kim was offered the chance to study at the most prestigious universities in Korea, but instead chose to attend a provincial university. As of 2007 he also serves as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University.


2. Gregory Smith:


Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize at age 12
Born in 1990, Gregory Smith could read at age two and had enrolled in university at 10. But “genius” is only one half of the Greg Smith story. When not voraciously learning, this young man travels the globe as a peace and children’s rights activist.

He is the founder of International Youth Advocates, an organization that promotes principles of peace and understanding among young people throughout the world. He has met with Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev and spoke in front of the UN. For these and other humanitarian and advocacy efforts, Smith has been nominated four times for a Nobel Peace Prize. His latest achievement? He just got his driver license.


3. Akrit Jaswal:


The Seven Year-Old Surgeon
Akrit Jaswal is a young Indian who has been called "the world's smartest boy" and it's easy to see why. His IQ is 146 and is considered the smartest person his age in India—a country of more than a billion people.

Akrit came to public attention when in 2000 he performed his first medical procedure at his family home. He was seven. His patient — a local girl who could not afford a doctor — was eight. Her hand had been burnt in a fire, causing her fingers to close into a tight fist that wouldn't open. Akrit had no formal medical training and no experience of surgery, yet he managed to free her fingers and she was able to use her hand again.

He focused his phenomenal intelligence on medicine and at the age of twelve he claimed to be on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer. He is now studying for a science degree at Chandigarh College and is the youngest student ever accepted by an Indian University.


4. Cleopatra Stratan:


A 3 year old singer who earns 1000€ per song
Clepotra was born October 6, 2002 in Chisinau, Moldova and is the daughter of Moldovan-Romanian singer, Pavel Stratan. She is the youngest person ever to score commercial success as a singer, with her 2006 album La vârsta de trei ani ("At the age of 3"). She holds the record for being the youngest artist that performed live for two hours in front of a large audience, the highest paid young artist, the youngest artist to receive an MTV award and the youngest artist to score a #1 hit in a country ("Ghita" in Romanian Singles Chart).



5. Aelita Andre:


The 2-year-old artist who showed her paintings in a famous Gallery
The abstract paintings of emerging artist Aelita Andre have people in Australia's art world talking. Aelita is two (the works were painted when she was even younger).

Aelita got an opportunity to show her paintings when Mark Jamieson, the director of Brunswick Street Gallery in Melbourne's Fitzroy, was asked by a photographer whose work he represented to consider the work of another artist. Jamieson liked what he saw and agreed to include it in a group show.

Jamieson then started to promote the show, printing glossy invitations and placing ads in the magazines Art Almanac and Art Collector, featuring the abstract work. Only then did he discover a crucial fact about the new artist: Aelita Andre is Kalashnikova's daughter, and was just 22 months old. Jamieson was shocked and embarrassed but decided to proceed with the exhibition anyways.





6. Saul Aaron Kripke:


Invited to apply for a teaching post at Harvard while still in high school
A rabbi's son, Saul Aaron Kripke was born in New York and grew up in Omaha in 1940. By all accounts he was a true prodigy. In the fourth grade he discovered algebra, and by the end of grammar school he had mastered geometry and calculus and taken up philosophy. While still a teenager he wrote a series of papers that eventually transformed the study of modal logic. One of them earned a letter from the math department at Harvard, which hoped he would apply for a job until he wrote back and declined, explaining, "My mother said that I should finish high school and go to college first". After finishing high school, the college he eventually chose was Harvard.

Kripke was awarded the Schock Prize, philosophy's equivalent of the Nobel. Nowadays, he is thought to be the world's greatest living philosopher.


7. Michael Kevin Kearney:


Earned his first degree at age 10 and became a reality show Millionaire
24 year-old Michael Kearney became known as the world's youngest college graduate at the age of 10. In 2008, Kearney earned $1,000,000 on the television game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Kearny was born in 1984 and is was known for setting several world records and teaching college at the age of 17.

He spoke his first words at four months. At the age of six months, he said to his pediatrician "I have a left ear infection" and learned to read at the age of ten months. When Michael was four, he was given diagnostic tests for the Johns Hopkins precocious math program and achieved a perfect score. He finished high school at age 6, enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College graduating at 10 with an Associate of Science in Geology. He is listed in the Guinness Book as the world's youngest university graduate at the age of 10, receiving a bachelor's degree in anthropology. For a while, he also held the record for the world's youngest postgraduate.

But in 2006, he became worldwide famous after reaching the finals on the Mark Burnett/AOL quiz/puzzle game Gold Rush, and became the first $1 million winner in the online reality game.


8. Fabiano Luigi Caruana:


A chess prodigy who became the youngest Grandmaster at age 14
Fabulous Fabiano is a 16-year-old chess Grandmaster and chess prodigy with dual citizenship of Italy and the United States.

On 2007 Caruana became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days - the youngest Grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States. In the April 2009 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2649, making him the world's highest ranked player under the age of 18.


9. Willie Mosconi:


Played professional Billiards at age 6
William Joseph Mosconi, nicknamed "Mr. Pocket Billiards" was a American professional pocket billiards (pool) player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Willie's father owned a pool hall where he wasn’t allowed to play, but Willie improvised by practicing with small potatoes from his mother's kitchen and an old broomstick. His father soon realized that his son was a child prodigy began advertising challenge matches, and though Willie had to stand on a box in order to reach the table, he beat experienced players many years his senior.

In 1919, an exhibition match was arranged between six-year old Willie and the reigning World Champion, Ralph Greenleaf. The hall was packed, and though Greenleaf won that match, Willie played very well launching his career in professional billiards. In 1924, at the tender age of eleven, Willie was the juvenile straight pool champion and was regularly holding trick shot exhibitions.

Between the years of 1941 and 1957, he won the BCA World Championship of pool an unmatched fifteen times. Mosconi pioneered and employed numerous trick shots, set many records, and helped to popularize the game of billiards. He still holds the officially recognized straight pool high run record of 526 consecutive balls.


10. Elaina Smith:


Youngest agony aunt aged 7
Her local radio station gave her the job after she rang and offered advice to a woman caller who had been dumped. Elaina’s tip — go bowling with pals and drink a mug of milk — was so good she got a weekly slot and now advises thousands of adult listeners. The littler adviser tackles problems ranging from how to dump boyfriends and how to cope with relationship breakdown to dealing with smelly brothers.

When one listener wrote to Elaina asking how to get a man, she replied: "Shake your booty on the dance floor and listen to High School Musical". Another caller asked how to get her man back, Elaina told her: "He's not worth the heartache. Life's too short to be upset with a boy."

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Old 11-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #58
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Freak Passport Pictures


Meet Batman Bin Suparman.
Aparently this young man from Singapore was blessed in 1990 with
being named after two superheroes: Batman and Superman.


This Dutchman dressed as the The Joker from Batman, managed to get himself a national ID card (and some press), despite supposedly stringent new rules which outlaw grins, funny faces, and head coverings from passport pics.


When making a fake ID, no matter how much you love the girl, attach a picture of yourself only.









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Old 11-04-2009, 02:09 PM   #59
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Zombie Boy



Meet Rick. He's turning himself into a zombie. So far, more than 24 hours of tattoos --costing over $4,075 Canadian dollars-- have got him halfway there and made him a minor celebrity on the internet, where people can’t decide if he’s a body modification visionary or mentally ill sicko.
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:11 PM   #60
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Catman



Dennis Avner, also known by "Catman" or his native american name of "Stalking Cat", undergone incredible extensive surgery in order to look like his totem animal, the tiger. Modifications include extensive tattooing, transdermal implants to allow whiskers to be worn, subdermal implants to change the shape of the face and the filing and shaping of the teeth to make them look more like a tiger's.
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